Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain is one of the most popular attractions at Disney World. This steel roller coaster is located in the Asia area of Animal Kingdom, and the story revolves around the Yeti that resides in the mountain. This attraction has impressive and detailed theming from start to finish, and is one of the most thrilling rides at Disney. Here are 10 facts that you may not know about Expedition Everest.
10. The Mountain
Expedition Everest features just one of 20 mountains created by Disney Imagineers in Disney parks around the world. At almost 200 feet tall, it is the tallest of all the Disney mountains. This mountain is made of more than 1,800 tons of steel, and it took 2,000 gallons of paint and stain to cover the mountain.
9. Hefty Price Tag
Expedition Everest took Imagineers 6 years to plan and create, and it cost $100 million dollars. That price includes everything that went into planning the attraction, and everything you see when you wait in line and board the train to travel through the mountain.
8. Single Riders Welcome
The standby line can get quite long at this attraction, and if you find yourself without a FastPass+, get in the single rider line. This is one of three attractions at Disney World that has a single rider line. This line is short and moves very quickly, as cast members take guests from this line to fill in the empty spots in the trains. You won’t be able to sit next to your family or friends, but you’ll get to face the Yeti without a long wait!
7. The Story
Every attraction at Disney World has a story that is told in the details, big and small, and helps to further pull the guests into the immersive world of Disney, and Expedition Everest is no exception. Guests board a tea train that must travel through the Forbidden Mountain in order to reach Everest, but the mythical Yeti is guardian of the sacred Forbidden Mountain, which may make passage through these mountains difficult. Look to the details that add to the story behind this attraction when moving through the queue lines and before boarding the old tea trains.
6. Learn a Thing or Two in the Queue
Disney always does its research. When planning Everest, Imagineers travelled to Nepal to make the attraction as authentic as possible. They came back with information, stories and artifacts. Much of this can be seen through the queue, which is more like a Yeti museum than a regular old standby line (although we all know Disney doesn’t really do boring standby lines). There are photos, artwork, artifacts and information about the different legends and lore surrounding the Yeti in this museum. Take the time to look it all over as you wait in line, you may find these little details add to the experience of traveling through the Forbidden Mountain.
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5. The Yeti
The fearsome Yeti that guests come face to face with on Expedition Everest is the most complex Audio-Animatronic that Disney has built. The Yeti is 25 feet tall, and it’s covering, or skin, measures 1,000 square feet, and is held together by 1,000 snaps and 250 zippers
4. First Time
There are a few surprises on Expedition Everest, and if you’ve been on this ride you know one of those surprises is that the track you’re traveling just suddenly ends and there’s no where for the train to go, except for backwards! And it does, the train retreats and takes guests zooming backwards through the attraction. This is the first time that Disney created a coaster that not only goes forwards, but also backwards.
3. The Mythical Made Real
Although the Yeti is a mythical creature, Imagineers wanted to make him as real as possible. This meant extensive research into the legends surrounding the Yeti in different cultures, and looking to the biology and physicality of real animals, such as primates, as inspiration when creating the mythical Yeti that could believably be real.
2. B mode
A mode and B mode are terms that refer to the operation status of the Audio-Animatronic Yeti in the attraction. When the Yeti is operating in A mode, he can move 5 feet horizontally, and 18 inches vertically. Unfortunately, the Yeti was only operational in A mode for the first few months that the attraction was open. Shortly after the ride opened, the framing for the Yeti split, and to avoid further damage, the Yeti was put into B mode. B mode introduced strobe lighting to give the illusion of movement, and still manages to be quite terrifying! The Yeti continues to be in B mode, although Disney claims that the Yeti will someday operate in A mode again. Fingers crossed!
1. Hidden Mickey
Disney loves to place hidden Mickey’s around the parks and resorts, and guests love to be on the look out for them. There are hidden Mickeys to find in and around Expedition Everest. Look at the designs etched and molded into the stone walls and structures around the attraction, pay close attend to the items in the queue, (hint take a close look at a tea kettle), but there is one Hidden Mickey that is impossible to spot but trust us, it’s there. If you could look down, from high above Expedition Everest, you would see that the entire attraction forms the shape of a classic Mickey!